The event itself has some important elements to it. And they are all equally as important to making it a good death experience.
I think one of them, in sort of a very traditional sense is a recognition of, and a care for, and a goodbye to the body. There’s the initial shock, right, of the passing. You call the funeral home, you meet an initial consultation time. That is where we then plan with you what is your family’s appropriate memorial.
A memorial event or a funeral service also accommodates or accomplishes the telling of the story. The connecting of the memories that made that person’s life real to us. And a cherishing of those, a celebrating of those, a being thankful for those. Honouring them and respecting them.
Next will be the day itself of the event. That’s the day where we remember, to pay the tribute, eulogize, honour. I’d say the next part immediately after that – on the same day – is a reception. To go from a goodbye to a almost a welcome and a hello for what’s next. Surrounding ourselves with food and refreshments – a symbol of life and nourishment and growing and moving forward. I think that a reception is an important part of a memorial event. Less formal. Easy for everyone to engage in. Lots of embracing. Lots of encouragement coming out of those. And again, who wouldn’t want that at a time of hurt, at a time of sadness.